The incident started at the victim’s high school in Sylacauga, Alabama. From there, the situation escalated to Facebook, a social media venue notorious for enflaming already controversial topics. Apparently, the topic of discussion was Black Lives Matter and its counterpart Blue Lives Matter.
The victim – identified as 17-year-old Brian Ogle – then received threatening messages from other students after he had made comments in support of “blue lives.” Ogle brought these threats to the school officials, but not much was done in response.
“My son took it to the principal at Sylacauga High School and I commend him for that,” Brian’s mother Brandi Allen explained. “He showed her the threats that were being made to him, but she told him there was nothing she could do. I’m appalled.”
According to school officials, they were made aware of rumors of threats from social media, and in response, they had put the school on lockdown on Wednesday. But that was two days prior to the attack that left Brian in critical condition.
On Friday, following the school’s homecoming game, students met in the parking lot of an old Ace Hardware store. According to police, a number of black teens attacked Brian Ogle, and when police had arrived on the scene, they saw the victim on the ground, bleeding from his head. Brian was airlifted to UAB hospital.
“Instead of us planning for his 18th birthday, we’re here. Why? Because he made a statement that he backs the blue? I’m still trying to understand how someone, no matter the color of their skin, can do this to another human being,” Allen said.
She added that his skull was broken in three different places. “Apparently he was hit with something that is possibly to be the butt of the pistol,” she said. “He has stitches, and he has real bad bruising on his shoulder. There’s a lot of wounds on the back of his head from being hit as well.”
Allen stated that she believed this to be a racially-motivated hate crime, and she wants to see the attackers in handcuffs and in jail.